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Yogurt

June 23, 2010

The first time I made this, I wasn’t sure it was going to work.  I was VERY skeptical.  And then I wanted to go a bit further and make it Greek style?  What am I crazy or something?  Well, that’s besides the point.

This was my first experiment with my new “healthy lifestyle” and making anything from scratch when possible. 

I make yogurt often now and, when my mom asked me to send her the recipe for a friend of hers, I immediately thought, “Huh, why haven’t I posted that yet?” 

This is a perfect recipe for when you have too much milk that’s going to go bad.

Tools:

Crock-pot (some know it as a slow cooker)

Large towel (I use a beach towel or two thick shower towels)

Coffee filters (only for Greek Style)

Colander (only for Greek Style)

Large bowl (only for Greek Style)

Large spoon

Large containers to store them in.  I use mason jars or even recycled containers

Ingredients:

1/2 gallon MILK

4 oz plain YOGURT (store bought or, if you have already made some before, use that as the starter)

Directions:

Pour half a gallon of milk into the pot, and heat on low for 2 1/2 hours…walk away…it’s okay…don’t get scared:

It’s only going to get scarier.  See, once you HEAT THE MILK, unplug the pot and let it sit for 3 HOURS!!!  Yes!  Milk!  Sitting out!  At room temperature!  For 3 HOURS!!!

I know some of you who are worried about food safety and all that, but really?  Do you now understand what yogurt is?  Don’t worry about it.  I’ve been making this for over a year now and never have gotten sick from it…I’m just saying:

 

After 3 hours, take the lid off (do NOT take it off before), remove about a cup of the milk:

Put it into a small dish and add 4 oz of plain yogurt:

I haven’t made yogurt in a while so I had to start from scratch again, however, now that I have made it again, next time I will use my own yogurt as the yogurt.  It’s like a starter in sourdough, you just take some out each time you make it and you never have to buy more again.

Okay, take that milk and yogurt that you’ve added to it, and whisk it together until smooth:

Add it back into the crock pot:

Whisk it all together:

Cover it back up with the lid and this is where the easy part comes in:

 

What?  It’s been fairly easy already?  I know!  But your job is pretty much done except for one thing:

 

Cover it up with a thick towel and set aside:

I use a beach towel, but I have used bath towels as well.  Just make sure that it is completely covered.  You’re basically insulating it.  And set it aside…for EIGHT TO TWELVE HOURS!

Yes, again, you are sitting milk out on the counter for even LONGER now!  But, again, need I remind you what yogurt is? 

After 8-12 hours, unwrap it (the longer is actually better because the yogurt cultures have more time to do their thing, but it you’re in a rush…go ahead and only do 8: If you start this late afternoon, you can set it aside and go to bed and move to the next step in the morning…it’s up to you!

When you unwrap it, open the lid and look in…

Doesn’t look like much, does it?  But then you put a spoon into it:

Yep, that’s YOGURT PEOPLE!  Plain, tart, delicious yogurt!

What?  You don’t like plain yogurt?  That’s okay, add some FRESH FRUIT to it!  Add some chocolate sauce!  Add some jam!  You can flavor it however you want!  I like it plain!

I can never help myself and eat it right away, but most people will refrigerate it for about 8 hours before sampling.  What can I say, some people are crazy and like their yogurt cold!  I don’t get it either!

You want it Greek Style?  That THICK creamy, spreadable, yogurt?  Then keep reading…

Very simply, take a colander and place coffee filters in the bottom of it OR a cheese cloth.  I don’t have cheese cloth but I have plenty of coffee filters around:

Place the colander over an empty bowl.  Make sure that there is space between the bottom of the colander and the bottom of the container as the yogurt will be draining and you want there to be space for the whey to go without filling to the yogurt in the filter.

Spoon the yogurt into the coffee filter:

Okay, use as many as you need to use.  I could actually usually fit it into the large one, but I was starting small this time:

Wait for several hours, letting the yogurt drain.  I usually leave it for another 8-12 hours; if you want, put it in the fridge.  If you leave it out on the counter, make sure to put a paper towel over the bowl so bugs don’t get in.  I find that if you put it in the refrigerator during this step, it just takes longer and doesn’t drain as much.

Once it’s as thick as you want it, just put it into a container and put it in the refrigerator…if you don’t eat it all at once…I’m just saying!

I use the Greek Style in place of sour cream on my tacos, spread it on oatmeal pancakes, eat it plain, and I also use it to make cucumber salad.  What’s your favorite yogurt flavor?

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1/2 gallon MILK

4 oz plain YOGURT (store bought or, if you have already made some before, use that as the starter)

Directions:

Turn crock pot to low pour in the milk

Heat on low for 2 1/2 hours

Unplug , but keep covered, let sit for 3 hours

After 3 hours, remove 1 cup of warmed milk and place in bowl.  Add yogurt and mix well

Pour yogurt back into milk mixture and whisk

Put lid back on and wrap the entire pot with thick towels

Let sit for 8-12 hours (the longer it sits the more it will cultivate)

Stir yogurt and transfer to storage containers

For optimum taste, refrigerate for 8 hours before eating

To make Greek style, before cooling, line colander with coffee filter and fill with yogurt.  You can also use a cheese cloth instead of coffee filter. 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2010 4:29 am

    I’m really into making homemade dairy and this looks delightful! I haven’t made yogurt yet but this will be the first recipe I try. Thanks for sharing!

    • June 24, 2010 6:03 am

      I’m glad you like it. You’ll find it very simple. Other recipes have you heat yogurt on the stove top up to a specific temperature and I don’t have a candy themometer so this is a great way to not worry about temperature control.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Greek Style yogurt out of ANY yogurt « The Headless Cook

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